Fox Footy pundits believe Brisbane isn’t “made for finals” and that coach Chris Fagan “will start to feel pressure” after his side failed a big test in Friday night’s 64-point loss to Melbourne.
The Demons dominated Brisbane from the onset of the Gabba contest, with the Lions trailing by 66 points at half-time as the game had already been put out of reach.
The result will likely cost Brisbane a top-four berth in a contest that was something of a mini final that left the home fans stunned.
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“Chris Fagan will start to feel some pressure now. He’s been able to prepare his teams really well through the body of the season, and then when it gets to this pointy end they haven’t been able to finish off,” Demons great Garry Lyon said on Fox Footy.
“This is still home and away of course and they’ve got time to regather, but this is the sort of pressure that’s going to come his way.”
Triple-premiership winning Lion Jonathan Brown lamented the club’s performance and believes anything less than a preliminary final would go down as a failed season.
“They were insipid, it was disappointing. I had a laugh — if I wanted to go look at caravans I would’ve gone down to Jayco today, that’s honestly what it looked like … an insipid performance in a finals-type game, big stakes,” he said.
“’Fages’ (Fagan) has bristled at this throughout the year when we’ve mentioned it, they’ve given up big chunks of scores in small periods of the game.
“That’s been a concern … when you say they’ve gone deep, they’ve gone to preliminary finals. If the team goes backwards this year, the question would be asked.
“You go through the injury list, they’ve got Ah Chee and Adams out … they’ve got one of their best 22 not in that unit.”
The Lions could now play in a knockout elimination final — potentially against an in-form Tigers side — pending this weekend’s results of Collingwood’s clash with Carlton and Fremantle’s meeting with GWS.
Geelong great Cameron Mooney hit out at Brisbane’s dire 1-5 finals record under Fagan and doesn’t think the club is built for the post-season.
“Brisbane really aren’t made for finals. You look at their finals record under Fagan, it’s pretty horrible — and five of those six losses have come at the Gabba,” he said on Fox Footy Live.
“You take tonight as well, we basically say it was a final to get that top-four spot. I just don’t know if they’re a finals team. They may look good in the home and away, but when that real pressure comes, that finals pressure that we always talk about, they’re found wanting.”
Former Hawthorn sharpshooter Ben Dixon referred to the Lions as the “joke of the jungle” and “lazy”.
“After the bye they have switched nothing on defensively. How often do you see the lion get hunted? It’s happened this season, it’s happened a number of times,” he said.
“Essendon got them after the bye … you touched on the 64-point loss in Round 15 where Melbourne touched them up because a good defensive side put good offensive pressure on and they crumble.
“He’d be disappointed Chris Fagan, but time and time again their inability to finish as a team, and this just solidifies it for me in the finals — it’s not a hard game to win against the Lions.
“Their defence is a disgrace, I’ve seen teams outside the top eight have a better defence than what they’re showing this year.”